Digital Rights Management for Children

On the – wonderfully challenging – philosophy that if you can’t explain your idea in an illustrated children’s book, you don’t have an ideaDavid Belasco, the great American theatrical producer, once said, “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.” , a Victoria blogger has produced a children’s book on digital rights management.

I found the link on the Canadian Creative Commons site:

The Pig and the Box is well worth a read. With the subtleties of proprietary formats and copyright removed, its hard not to agree with an adorable cast of farm animals and a message advocating trust and sharingIt is, of course, an indirect rebuke of Captain Copyright.

MCM describes his work:

This is a kids’ book. I don’t know about the mental age of your kids, but mine find it hilarious. Even more so before they found out I made it. Now they just think I’m scary. Scarier. Anyway…

The Pig and the Box is about a pig who finds a magic box that can replicate anything you put into it. The pig becomes so protective of it, and so suspicious of anyone that wants to use it, that he makes people take their copied items home in special buckets that act as… well, they’re basically DRM. It’s like a fable, except the moral of the story is very modern in tone.

I made the book after hearing how the entertainment industry in Canada is keen on teaching young kids about how to “respect” copyright. That was a bit heavy-handed, I thought, and otherwise despicable. Preying on small kids, brainwashing them so they believe what you’re doing is honourable and good… Feh. So I wrote this book partly as a response to that venture, to counter-act the confused ideals that young’ns are being exposed to these days. Also, I wanted to write potty humour.


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